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The Little Bird And The Prickly Pear
The little bird could fly no more. The dazzling sun doubling its scorching heat was now reigning the noon day sky. The drought was severe this year. Not a single drop of water in this vast barren land. The little bird with its beautiful blue feathers and dark olive-green breast couldn’t find a little of its shades around, only miles and miles of reddish yellow sand dunes. The little bird couldn’t find any place where it could perch. The tired little wings couldn’t resist the death bed underneath. Gathering the last bit of strength, it tried hard to move forward, but within a minute pain numbed its little body and it laid in a pool of blood. For the last time she looked around and found itself in the thorny bed of prickly pear. The little bird closed its eyes spreading its wings. The beautiful wings sparkled in sun and the majestic colours stained with blood somehow created a sensation in the arid desert. The blood coming out of the wounded little bird dripped down the thorny spine of the prickly pear, touching its bud and resting in roots. The feeble heartbeat of the dying bird sent a chill through the prickly pear. Half awoke the prickly pear sucked the blood and thought that finally it was raining. Some more drops and it realized that the salty moisture was not a raindrop. Wide awoke, it was awestruck to find the beautiful bird, but at the next moment its wonder and amazement turned into a deep despair, finding the little bird gasping for life. The prickly pear made up its mind and torn down its fleshy skin for the watery juice to come out. It had saved all its water under its thorny skin. Now the juice flowed down over the little bird. It cleaned its wounds and its feathers shined again in the bright sunlight. The prickly pear whispered, “wake up, little bird, wake up”. The little bird opened its eyes and swallowed a bright drop. Rejuvenated and enlivened the bird thanked the prickly pear. The prickly pear was happy that the little bird was back to life again, but the prickly pear could not bear the pain itself. It was wounded, torn and devastated. The little bird was worried for the prickly pear and was sorry for its miserable condition. The prickly pear said the little bird, “o, beautiful bird, fly away, fly away to the north, to the oasis. There you will find your kind, chirping and nestling in the palm trees around. The water there is blue and the pasture there is green and all I know is that the oasis is a land serene.” But the little bird would not move. It was scared to leave the prickly pear, lest it would die. It said, “O prickly pear, how can I go, when you are dying. I shall stay by you and see you thrive.” The prickly pear would not listen to anything. It said, “O little bird, please listen to me, my stems are weak and my life is dry. I can thrive no more, but if you go you will thrive.” The little bird cried and cried and ultimately agreed to go. The little bird said, “I shall go to the north, to the oasis where heaven meets the earth and shall sing of the love and compassion that you showed to me.” The prickly pear smiled feebly and gave the little bird its last juicy fruit to survive the journey and broke down into pieces to rest in love and peace. The little bird wept bitterly and resumed its flight again in the twilight sun.
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